The Jade Regent

The Night of Frozen Shadows, Part Two: A Gathering of Shadows

...or: "You ain't gonna shit right for a month!"

This session took place over two days.

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu/Amatatsu Ameiko – Human Aristocrat
Sandru “Whiskey” Vhiski – Human Caravan Master

Jambro’s tenday at the Lily Bloom Pleasure House was winding down. Despite his advances, the Lady Noriko continued to rebuff him. In fact, she was using suggestion spells and opium dosing to influence Jambro for unknown reasons. After “chasing the dragon” for nearly two weeks, Jambro was presented with Lady Noriko’s final suggestion spell: That he and his companions should bring themselves to the farmhold of Asvig Longthews, their trusted friend and ally. Jambro not only resisted the well-woven spell, he glimpsed Lady Noriko’s true form in his mind’s eye: that of a deadly Nogitsune, an oni in the guise of a fox-woman. Jambro was able to conceal that he knew what was happening, and got away from Noriko without a fight.

Meanwhile, at the caravan’s resting place in the Bone Quarter; Johnny, Ashik, Whiskey, and Ameiko were making plans for their rescue of Warlug. They suspected that the Frozen Shadow Ninja clan was working with Chieftain Asvig Longthews, perhaps Warlug was being held there. Further, Whiskey found out that no guides were available to take them along The Golden Way in Kalsgard, save perhaps one: Torstein Gormundr. Torstein’s sister told Whiskey that he was heading to Asvig’s farmstead to take work, but she had not heard from Torstein in days. She had been turned away with a beating when she went there to ask after him. The Sons decided then to head to the farmstead to rescue Warlug, and maybe this guide as well. As they were preparing to leave, Jambro rejoined them. He informed Johnny of the Lady Noriko being a shape-changing demon of some kind. With no time to waste, however, it was just one more problem to add to their list. They headed off toward Longthew’s farmstead.

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As the Sons were on their way to Longthews farmstead, Warlug awoke to the unpleasant sounds of two Viking warriors and the scullery maid having a toss on the table over his floorboard cell. He found himself bound securely, but began working to escape his bonds immediately. After several minutes, he freed himself from the ropes. Not sure exactly what was going on, but not wanting to stay to find out, Warlug made his move. Using his great strength, he shoved the table (and the Viking menage a trois) off the floor over him, and burst out from his holding cell. He got his feet under him and slugged it out with the Viking warriors. As the maid screamed out, the Viking warriors bellowed for support. Warlug knew that he had little time before he was overwhelmed. He grabbed one of the warrior’s axes and fought them, dispatching one before reinforcements arrived.

However, there were far more warriors there than he could handle alone. Men started to charge in, while others moved around the front of the stead. Warlug, using spells he still had prepared from before his capture, conjured a concealing mist he used to cover his escape. He ran out the back door into daylight, running past some of the stead’s defenses: The enchanted fence lines conjured leopards that began to chase Warlug down. Further, once he was clear of the mist, the Longthew’s men saw where he was. They gave chase, releasing hounds as well. He got a good lead on the men, but the animals were keeping pace with him well. He survived a hail of axes and spears thrown at him.

The leopards had caught up to him, the hounds were closing in, and twenty warriors were a spear-cast away. Just then, Johnny and the Wayward Sons arrived in view on the road. They saw the predicament Warlug was in and ran to his aid: Jambro unleashed a fireball at Longthew’s men, which nearly evened the odds for the Sons. Notes played by Ashik on Celdoriath’s Clarion bolstered their strength at arms. Johnny, Whiskey, and Ameiko ran in to help Warlug. It seemed that the tide of battle had turned almost to the point of routing Longthew’s men. However, it was then that Longthews and his wife, Helva, appeared; they began barking orders and reinforcing their fighter’s courage.

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Helva began to cast battle magic of her own, her gaze setting Johnny on fire! She tried to inflict a disease on Jambro, but was unsuccessful. In return, Jambro took aim with a wand of scorching ray, striking the Rashemani-witch-woman squarely in the face with two bolts! The powerful evocation channeled through the wand was an overwhelming amount of power; Helva’s head was turned to ash, while the rest of her body fell. Asvig flew into a rage, seeing his wife killed, and in such a gruesome manner. The remaining battle was short and brutal. The Sons fought the raiders off and struck Chief Longthews a decapitating blow. Longthews’ men were killed, nearly to the man, though a few escaped into the woods. While Warlug’s blood was up, he considered sending the dogs after the men, but Johnny insisted they be let go, “The dogs might get hurt, we beat them already anyway.”

With the smell of blood and burnt flesh heavy in the air, the Wayward Sons moved into the Chieftain’s farmstead. Their they discovered that Warlug was the only prisoner who had still been there. The Sons began questioning Longthew’s thralls (servants) and discovered that, only hours before, Torstein Gormundr, the Sons’ possible guide, had been moved from Longthews’ farm. The reason Longthews had so many men at his farm was for a funeral feast. Longthews’ ring-giver, the man who made him a Chieftain, was a warrior of repute called Snorri Stone-Eye. Stone-Eye was dead, his funeral honors were intended to be carried out at dawn the next day. The thralls didn’t know where Torstein was, but they heard Longthews say “that Torstein would be joining Snorri soon”. Perhaps he was on this boat?

They also learned that the sword Suishen was stolen by Longthews and his men, though no longer in Longthews’ custody. It had been taken by the same Frozen Shadow Clan ninja who had dropped off Warlug and taken Torstein away. The thralls also confirmed that Longthews was responsible for the initial attack against the Sons at the Skalsbridge. Finally, they learned of the name Kimandatsu. Though the thralls knew no specifics of this person, one suspected that Kimandatsu was the leader of the Frozen Shadows.

Next, the Sons gathered up supplies and resources from the fallen and from Longthews’ stores on the farmstead. They took what they could manage then and went back to Kalsgard. Then, they decided to go back to get what else they could take with more wagons. When they returned, they saw that more revelers had arrived. The Rashemani were clearly disturbed to find their host and his followers dead, but were surprisingly calm when the Sons returned to finish pilfering the goods of Longthews. Their leader, Geir Skiglsen, negotiated with Johnny and Warlug. In Geir’s estimation, Longthews’ defeat to the Sons entitled the Sons to remuneration. Since Warlug was wearing Asvig Longthews’ platinum armband, Geir considered Warlug the rightful inheritor of Longthews’ land and holdings. He felt so confident about it that he offered the Sons a token of his support and an offer to purchase the lands from them.

After concluding that business, the Sons took their goods and caravan back to the Bone Quarter in Kalsgard. They began the task of planning their infiltration of Snorri Stone-Eye’s funeral ship. They decided that, rather than wait until early morning, they would sneak on immediately. Despite the presence of the ship’s honor guard, they managed to sneak on board. Ashik and Ameiko remained on the deck of the ship, while Johnny, Jambro, and Warlug went belowdeck to see what they could find.

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Not too long after being on board, Ashik and Ameiko investigated the funeral pyre itself. They discovered that Snorri’s body was not on the pyre! Belowdeck, the party heard the rattling of chains through a thick mist which hung in the air inside the ship. They could see only a few feet, but were soon faced with a draugr; none other than Snorri Stone-Eye himself!

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In the close confines of the ship, the Sons began fighting with the cold-infused undead. On the deck above, Ashik and Ameiko were soon attacked by ninjas of the Frozen Shadow Clan! The ninjas set the ship alight, using the funeral pyre that was already set. They also set the area in front of the boarding plank on fire.

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Belowdeck, the Sons made short work of Snorri Stone-Eye’s draugr. They quickly find that neither Torstein or Suishen is on the ship. Johnny did find an interesting helm, however, which he took.

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Now, hearing the clamor above deck, the rest of the Sons move to help Ameiko and Ashik. After an intense battle, during which Jambro managed to put out the fire with a conjured sleet storm, the Sons were now left to contend with Snorri’s honor guard. They were upset that the Sons had violated the sanctity of Snorri’s funeral service. However, since the boat was saved (and could be lit on fire at the appropriate time), the honor guard were content to accept a gold donation to consider the matter closed. After squaring up with them, the Wayward Sons headed back to the Bone Quarter once more.

Now, seemingly at a dead end, the Sons were unsure of where to go. However, Ashik looked into Snorri’s history and discovered that the jarl and raider had been selling his assets off before his death. He sold many of his assets, including his fortress called Ravenscraeg, to the Rimerunner’s Guild. With some further questioning, they find out its location. As they have little else to go on, they decide to investigate Ravenscraeg.

Hoping to make better time, the Sons attempt to acquire horses. After a lengthy conflict between the Cormyrian War-Wizard and “The Joe Pesci” horse, the Sons finally get under way. Nearly two days later, they’ve reached the end of the peninsula, where they can begin the hike up the stone steps to Ravenscraeg. They are soon discovered by Frozen Shadow ninja, who begin by using throwing stars and by sending their pet spider eater after the party. The Sons make their way up the steps in a hard fought battle, dealing with the horse-sized insect and the tengu ninja guarding the approach to the fortress. Eventually, they fought their way up to the large double doors at the main entrance to the fortress.

Once inside, they were first charged by Frozen Shadow thugs, who were then reinforced by more ninja. Additionally, swarms of ravens swept down at Warlug and Jambro. Both narrowly avoided losing their sight to the ravenous birds. The ninjas used poison darts and then began to close to melee. Jambro’s use of a thunderclap killed most of the ravens attacking him, scattered what few survived. Ameiko was able to use a similar spell to scatter the ravens trying to eat Warlug’s eyes. Ashik’s alternating use of hate-fueled spoken word and trumpeting bolstered his comrade’s skill at arms. Johnny was a nigh-invincible bulwark in the fight, turning aside dozens of strikes, shrugging off incredible damage. Warlug, once he was clear of the ravens, used his tremendous strength to fight toe-to-toe with the Tian Xia assassins. Throughout the battle, the ninjas used trickery and deadly martial arts to confound and chip away at the Wayward Sons.

As the Sons gained ground, Ameiko ran forward, fervent from the battle. She soon found herself cornered and was struck what should have been a mortal blow to the leg. However, while she was knocked unconscious, the blow seemed not to have hit so vital an area. Warlug, Johnny, and Ashik moved forward to cover her while Jambro continued to rain destructive magic on the Frozen Shadow. After rallying, the Sons were once again victorious. Jambro used his charm magic on one of the surviving thugs, who not only came under the effect of the spell, but was now permanently under the effect of the spell. Seeing Jambro as his best and truest friend, this thug of the Frozen Shadows (none other than Lamar Davis-Bacon!) started to tell them about some of the defenses in the base. He told them that Kimandatsu was the Frozen Shadows leader. He also knew of a safe place they might be able to safely rest and recover for a few hours.

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Though Lamar was helping them out, Johnny took offense with Lamar’s attitude. Lamar’s bravado didn’t set well with him, but once he started looking through the pockets of the other Frozen Shadow thugs, Johnny had seen all he could take. He wound up and gave Lamar a hard shot to the kidneys, knocking him out, “You should just cut his throat now and be done with it.” With that, the Sons went out a back door and found their way to a hidden dell, there to rest and prepare for their further incursion into Ravenscraeg.

Everyone should be 7th level when we start on Saturday.

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